Last night, after a flurry of bad commercials, my wife and I went the DVD route for our evening entertainment. Unfortunately this is not a rare occurance. In fact, most evenings we either throw in a DVD or retreat to the semi non-interruption world of TCM.
Granted, I am not a big fan of television anyway. I’m not into the news (there is more than enough downer-type reality in the world without watching it on TV), reality type shows are of no interest (there is more than enough downer-type reality in the world without watching it on TV), the drama has gotten way too graphically dramatic and the comedies are trite and obviously aimed at another demographic (and basically, not funny).
As if this pre-disposition to dissatisfaction weren’t enough to ruin a night of idiot box watching, the commercials make it completely unwatchable.
It’s bad enough that they happen roughly every six minutes and have a duration of roughly half that. It’s bad enough that, despite television executive and FCC denials, they are LOUDER than the actual show and thus even more annoying than they already are (what? I didn’t turn up the volume on that one word, you’re imagining that). Mostly, it’s bad because THEY ARE BAD (you only heard those words louder – they weren’t really).
I know and have worked with some very impressive people with marketing degrees. Do they all work in other forms of media? Is what we see on television the result of hiring the bottom quartile? I’m really asking because I don’t know.
My unscientific sampling has concluded that only one out of every seven commercials are anything close to potentially effective (or even seem to have a point). Two of the seven are almost bearable, but more than half are JUST PLAIN TERRIBLE (never mind…).
Don’t get me wrong, some are clever, well constructed messages that may actually help a product sell more. Some are downright funny. Not enough, however, to make television appealing, given their unwatchable nature.
So the television goes into the ice box where it will stay until this terrible situation is remedied…. at least until the Super Bowl. Then they get another chance.